LOS ANGELES – A unique school building designed by architect Tadao Ando has been completed at the University of Monterrey in northern Mexico.
The six-story Centro Roberto Garza Sada looks like a rectangular cement block from which huge triangular cutouts have been carved into the sides, leaving an opening between its belly and the ground.
The opening allows people to pass beneath the building, which is the first Ando-designed building to be erected in Central and South America, the university said.
The well-known architect attended the building’s inauguration on Wednesday.
Ando, 71, said that Mexico has produced many world-class architects, such as Luis Barragan Morfin (1902-1988), and called on university students who walk through the Gate of Creation to have the spirit to become leaders in Mexico and throughout the world.
The university spent 600 million pesos, or about ¥4.9 billion, on the building, which has classrooms and conference rooms for those studying architecture and art.
Among Ando’s best-known works are the Sumiyoshi-no-Nagaya linear concrete house in Osaka, and the Chichu Art Museum on Nao Island in the Seto Inland Sea between Shikoku and western Honshu.
Ando was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1995, the royal gold medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1997, and the gold medal from the International Union of Architects in 2005.